Is a garage a “habitation” for criminal law purposes?

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Is a garage a “habitation” for criminal law purposes?

My husband is currently in jail; charged with burglary of a habitation. He took a purse out of an open garage. We don’t understand how it’s that charge instead of just a theft. Also, supposedly a neighbor saw him do it but they found no evidence on him.

Asked on January 31, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Someone can be charged and even convicted based on witness testimony; while a prosecutor would always prefer to have physical evidence, such as stolen goods on the alleged perpetrator as well, they are not stictly speaking necessary. If the testimony is credible and compelling, it can be enough by itself.

2) A garage is still part of someone's domicle; whether an attached garage or an out building, it's considered part of their home. The law does not distinguish between one part of the home--e.g. between a covered porch and the master bedroom--in determining whether  something is burglary. The fact that this was "only" a garage does not mean that it's not burglary.


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